More Wilson Contempt for Parliament and Freedom
Friday 7 Dec 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution
Last night Attorney General Margaret Wilson dropped on MPs another Supplementary Order Paper with major human rights
implications avoiding select committee scrutiny, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said today.
"MPs had just twelve hours notice for debate.
"The last minute law change adds an Equal Opportunities Commissioner to the Human Rights Commission. The new
Commissioner has more powers than any other including the responsibility to "complement the work of any trust or body
that has as one of its purposes the promotion of equal employment opportunities (including pay equity)". This could
include each of the Labour, Alliance and Green parties, who have admitted in the House knowing about this last minute
"Margaret Wilson has unbelievable gall. She's utterly unrepentant about her failed attempt to stifle free speech. She
has learned nothing about trying to do these things without select committee scrutiny. She is unsuitable for any job
requiring respect for our freedoms and due process, let alone a job that should have her as chief guardian of them.
"Her human rights amendment turns the Commission into a propaganda council. Commissioners are to lose their role in
dealing with practical complaints, that at least keeps them in some touch with reality. Instead they are to "educate ...
promote ... ensure equality and .... understanding and respect for human rights".
"There is no definition of human rights in the Bill. These political appointees can make it mean whatever they want it
"The Commission is now to be a cabal essentially doing what politicians should do, with a budget bigger than any
political party, appointed to promote the warped agenda of this Minister.
"The new Commissioner's power to "complement" the work of any body which includes her favoured purpose could authorise
it to become the government-funded wing of the Labour party. In this debate taking place now, Government members are not
even bothering to participate," Mr Franks said.
For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at